Search
  • Fr. Terry Ryan, CSP

The Other Side

The Other Side

There is a bible story about Jesus walking on water. His disciples are in a boat and it is a stormy sea. When they first see Jesus, they are frightened, thinking it is a ghost. But Peter asks to walk on water to come to Jesus. For a moment he walks on water, but then he becomes afraid and begins to sink. I believe that there is something in all of us that is drawn to the non-body experience beyond time and space. It is where we came from before being conceived and it is where we are going after we pass through death. It is an instinct that goes beyond body limits, earthly realities, and sense of separation one from another. But there is a fear of it because we are flesh and blood people who tend to live so much in this earthly existence that we get blinded or dulled to the numinous beyond or beneath what we can see, feel and touch. Jesus represents the divine element in all of us that can experience existence beyond what the body alone can do. It is our limitlessness, if you will. Christians believe that Christ is within them and they are one with Christ. but aside from that, everyone has the spiritual element to "Walk on Water" type of life. We just don't trust it, or think about it, or have blown off the spiritual dimension of the human condition. It is not so much a matter of belief in a God, but a belief in oneself. The contemplative experiences life in its fullness beyond mere flesh and blood dimensions. Peter has both a sense of his limits, with its fears, and his instinct that with the divine connection, he has something of himself that can reach out past time and space, and limits of the body, to touch this divine. So he does walk on water, but life and its storms bring him out of this and into the narrowness of "I am a mere mortal" and he begins to sink. This is what it is for all of us who go back and forth between the deep spiritual dimension of life and the limits of the everyday.

7 views